Recipe: Sweet & sour chicken

RETRO GOLD: Sweet & sour chicken is one of those flavours we find ourselves maniacally craving from time to time.
RETRO GOLD: Sweet & sour chicken is one of those flavours we find ourselves maniacally craving from time to time.

This is a retro dish that really deserves a comeback. The sauce also works well with fish or pork chops, so double the quantity and keep it on hand for another dinner.

Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
8-10 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
a small handful of coriander leaves, to serve
Steamed rice, to serve
Sweet and sour sauce
200ml malt vinegar
130ml Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
100g sugar
2 tsp salt flakes
4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely grated
80g fresh ginger, cut into thin batons
1 long red chilli, cut on the diagonal
Half medium yellow capsicum, cut into thin batons
1 x 400g tin diced Italian tomatoes
Half pineapple, cored and cut into 5mm dice
2 tbsp light soy sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).

2. To make the sweet and sour sauce, place the vinegar, wine or sherry, sugar and salt in a heavy-based saucepan and stir over high heat until the sugar dissolves.

3. Bring to the boil, add the garlic, ginger and chilli, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the capsicum, tomatoes and pineapple and simmer for a further three minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Put a large, heavy-based frying pan over high heat and allow to heat for four minutes. Season the chicken thighs, then add, skin side down, to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the chicken for eight minutes, then turn over and cook for a further three minutes. Transfer to a baking dish and pour over the sweet and sour sauce. Bake in the oven for eight minutes until bubbling.

5. Scatter with the coriander and serve with steamed rice.

Recipe from Everyday by Karen Martini.

- Good Food